Kenya is a great country but its citizens underappreciate it

© Mutua Matheka
© Mutua Matheka

There are many great things about Kenya, top of which is her people in my opinion. There is something positively refreshing about them especially when it comes to their creative and entrepreneurial spirit. If there’s a need, a Kenyan will find a way to monetize it. Ever noticed how the hawkers who sell umbrellas when it rains suddenly appear from what seems like thin air? Michael Joseph may have been on to something when he famously commented Kenyans are ‘peculiar’. They don’t fit into any box. Anytime you think you have them figured out, they turn around and surprise you.

The Kenyan landscape is quite beautiful. From the sandy beaches of Mombasa to the plateaus of the Rift Valley to the hills of the Aberdare. Where else in the world is there a National Park in the capital city and traffic jams caused by lions? Citizens of the West save for years to catch a glimpse of what we see everyday.

Kenya’s rich and diverse culture has been the subject of international interest for years. The Maasai community has especially been in the limelight evidenced by the array of documentaries and somewhat corny movies. The Maasai blanket was even featured in an international fashion collection. Our carvings and art are also immensely popular.

Our running prowess is the stuff of legends. Our athletes have been featured in publications all over all the world and even mentioned in movies. They have become household names, attracting endorsements from international brands.

What is interesting about our country is that as Kenyans, we do not appreciate it as much as we should. We do not take the time to explore our country and instead choose to stick to the corners where we reside, all the while dreaming of travelling abroad. It’s sad that some foreigners know our country better than some of us. We also do not appreciate our culture and so priceless carvings and art are being sold to foreigners because we do not see the value of it. Our culture is being exported, copied and passed off as someone else’s. Our athletes and our heroes are only appreciated after they are feted overseas.

Kenya is a great country and it is about time we recognize this and truly appreciate it before we expect foreigners to.

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